Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Light To My Path

Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
    to keep your righteous rules. 
 I am severely afflicted;
    give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
    and teach me your rules. 
 I hold my life in my hand continually,
    but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
    but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
    for they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
    forever, to the end.
Psalm 119:105-112

This week I finally made it to the verse my Psalm 119 study* was named for... it is probably the pivotal verse all of Psalm 119 is known for.  With good reason.

Life is hard.  Plain and simple.  You have good times and bad times and plenty of in-between times.  However, there is not one single person who is able to walk through, beginning-to-end, and not encounter trials.  Our Psalmist, David, knew this just about as well as anyone.  His life was full of trials, triumphs and pitfalls.  I believe, with all my heart, this is the very reason God continued to use David in writing so many powerful Psalms which sing of victory over the enemy and a God who shelters us from harm.

David knew.

Boy did he know.

And he also knew where his strength and deliverance came from.

Because he did, we can too.  It is that simple.  Life is hard.... but God.

At times our enemy may wear flesh.  But often times we miss the bigger picture.  In the New Testament, the apostle Paul was the king of bigger pictures in this matter!

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but 
have divine power to destroy strongholds.
 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against 
the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, 
but against the rulers, against the authorities, 
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, 
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 (Emphasis added)
I've heard it said, when "the wicked set a snare for me", that, in fact, it is our enemy, the devil, and his spiritual forces at work in and through others.  When we pray against people it is a slap on the hand and leaves out their potential salvation... but when we pray against the forces of evil at work in this world... then we are using flaming arrows and hope is realized!
The Ephesians 6 passage above is the prelude to the infamous "Armor of God" passages.  If you read them (v.10-18) you will notice how the FIRST thing you put on is the belt of truth, a term synonymous with God's Word, the Bible.  The belt, in ancient times, helped hold nearly every other piece of armor in place... it was the anchor, so-to-speak, of 'keeping it all together' so, as you fought valiantly, your breastplate and all the rest stayed put.  You were protected.  Imagine, one measly little belt tightly fastened could mean life or death!

In Psalm 119:105-112, I am reminded how powerful a light God's Word is.  As a belt, it holds us together, making us ready and protected, and here, as a lamp, it gives light to the dark places we must walk.  It also helps us remember not just where we have been, but also where we are going.

We can choose to recall God's Word and mercies to counter the struggles in this life.  We can remember that the enemy's best attempts to mess us up are pointless because God, through His wonderful Word, empowers us to walk straight on... helps us to see just.where.we.are.going.  No mystery, we have a LIGHT to the path!  But first, we must use it!

I pray God's Word is sustaining you.  Making those daylight places brighter and lighting up the dark.

If you are interested in a Psalm 119 study guide, scroll down to the end of this article to see how you can get a FREE copy!  Though I have poured over the beautiful words of this Psalm many times before, I am still finding new and wonderful messages to grow my Walk with Christ.

Coming in November's newsletter issuing TOMORROW MORNING (10/25) is a 22 day (Monday through Friday) Bible study on WHY to be Thankful!  You won't want to miss this.  Scroll down to see how you can sign up....


By the way.....

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